Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.209.
Phyllis Dodd achieved considerable success from early on in her prolific career. Studying at the Liverpool School of Art from 1917‚Äì21, she received a Royal Exhibition Scholarship and attended the Royal College of Art for four years ‚Äì alongside Henry Moore (1898‚Äì1986), Raymond Coxon (1896‚Äì1997) and Edna Ginesi (1902‚Äì2000), with whom she would remain friends for the rest of her life ‚Äì winning the Drawing Prize in her final year.
From 1925 to 1930 she taught part-time at Walthamstow Technical College. In 1928, she married the artist Douglas Percy Bliss (1900‚Äì1984) and they worked alongside each other, exhibiting together at Derby Art Gallery in 1947. She also exhibited at the NEAC, the RA, the RP, the Walker Art Gallery and the RSA, and in 1989 the Hatton Gallery at Newcastle University held a large retrospective exhibition to celebrate her ninetieth birthday. Two of Bliss’s closest friends at The Royal College of Art, and with whom he shared student lodgings, were Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious. Bliss was in the School of painting at the RCA, where as his two friends were in the school of design. The three friends were soon on the nickname terms ‚Äì Bawden was ‘The Pale Spirit’ Bliss was Mahatma and Ravilious The Boy.
In July 1930 Ravilious married Tirzah Garwood, the most outstanding of his wood engraving students at the Eastbourne School of Art: Bawden was the best man and the Blisses, Rothenstein, Freedman, Edna and Raymond Coxon were there in support. Tirzah had been a member of the group for some time, and the year before Phyllis had painted a head and shoulders portrait of her in a green cloche hat, executed in one sitting on a hot Sunday afternoon in the Lambeth flat.
We are grateful to Malcolm Yorke and Simon Lawrence, for allowing use of the above information which appears in the Fleece Press Publication, Gargoyles & Tattie-Bogles, 2017.